The Alpha-1 Foundation mourns the loss of Dr. James Gadek

James E. Gadek, 76, passed away on January 24, 2023. He was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey on September 23, 1946 to the late Edward and Ann Gadek. His passions were his children, grandchildren, his beloved Jeep, and The Ohio State University. In 1979, Gadek joined Dr. Ronald Crystal’s group in the Pulmonary Branch of the National Institutes of Health and was instrumental in the research strategy that evolved for augmentation therapy for Alpha-1 patients. His research work helped set the stage to purify AAT from pooled plasma and administer the purified protein to patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency.

Jim graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1964. He graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 1968. While he attended Georgetown, he was the captain of the varsity crew team. Jim then attended medical school at Cornell University. He graduated from Cornell first in his class in 1972, and was also a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, a national medical honor society. After retaining his degrees, Jim served his internship and residency at Boston City Hospital in the Harvard University and Boston University divisions. In 1974, Dr. Gadek worked for the National Institutes of Health in the Allergy and Infectious Disease Institute, followed by the Pulmonary and Critical Care division. In 1982, he moved to Ohio to become the Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and a Professor of Medicine at The Ohio State University, where he stayed until retiring in 2001. Throughout his career, he was chosen by his colleagues for Doctor of the Year twice. While at The Ohio State University, Dr. Gadek received a prestigious award from The American Lung Association for his Outstanding Leadership in Pulmonary research.

“Jim was an innovative scientist with a generous and kind heart. His contributions to the development of replacement therapy paved the way for the treatment of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency when none existed. All of us involved in the care of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficient individuals owe him a debt of gratitude,” said Mark Brantly, MD.

Arrangements entrusted to Schoedinger Dublin where a visitation will be held on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 from 5-7pm. A memorial service was held on Thursday, February 2, 2023.